In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Cary (NC) Alumni Chapter in Cary, Apex, Morrisville and did an interview with Devin D. Brown the Polemarch of the chapter.
The position of Polemarch/president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Devin Brown, who works in community and economic development, has been in the position of Polemarch for since June.
We interviewed Brown, who is a Zeta Sigma Chapter initiate at Barber-Scotia College and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?
As the newly elected Polemarch of our esteemed chapter, I want to express my deep appreciation for the trust and confidence that my fellow Brothers have placed in me. It is truly an honor to assume this leadership role within a community of individuals who are so highly committed to the purpose and values of our Fraternity. The question of what motivated me to take on the position of alumni chapter president is deeply rooted in my personal purpose and aim, which align seamlessly with the mission of our Fraternity.
From my earliest days as a member, I have been inspired by the transformative power of leadership and service. In essence, my motivation to serve as the Polemarch of the Cary (NC) Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., is motivated by the idea of leaving a lasting impact on our chapter and the individuals it serves. By embracing this role, I am dedicated to cultivating an environment where every Brother feels empowered to reach their fullest potential. Just as our Fraternity’s purpose is to inspire and guide young men, I am motivated to serve as an example and resource for leadership, growth, and positive change.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?
The Brothers of Cary (NC) Alumni have consistently demonstrated an unwavering dedication to the principles and purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi. The Cary (NC) Alumni chapter is home to some of the most devoted and influential Brothers who have propelled the legacy of Kappa Alpha Psi. This legacy is not merely rooted in tradition; it is nurtured by our shared vision of making a meaningful impact. The relationships we build, the initiatives we spearhead, and the lives we touch embody the essence of our Fraternity’s purpose. Our chapter’s initiatives this year are focused on enhancing our local community and contributing to the broader Black community through education, empowerment, and enrichment. A particular highlight is the expansion of our Kappa League program, targeting Black male youths in grades 9 through 12. Following the success of the William E Hooker Kappa League Summit in 2023, we are poised to amplify the program’s reach. Our goal for 2024 is to engage more youth participants, introduce interactive training activities, and organize educational tours that enrich their experiences. Furthermore, we are dedicated to scaling our fundraising endeavors to support both our youth enrichment and scholarship programs. This will enable us to create a more profound and lasting impact on the lives of young individuals within our community. Additionally, our partnership with M&F Bank, one of just two remaining Black-owned financial institutions in North Carolina, which uniquely offers personal financial wellness and entrepreneurship education to aspiring Black business owners, exemplifies our commitment to economic empowerment and financial literacy.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
My decision to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi was not only influenced by the Fraternity’s esteemed values and principles but also by the profound impact that several key individuals, who happened to be Brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi, had on my life journey. These remarkable individuals played an instrumental role in shaping me into the person I am today, and their presence in my life was a driving force behind my decision to join this distinguished fraternity.
From the very beginning, both my high school and college basketball coaches, who were Brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi, served as mentors and guiding figures. Their commitment to excellence, discipline, and leadership on and off the court left an indelible impression on me. Their influence fostered a deep respect for the fraternity and its core values of achievement and service. One of the most significant relationships that I developed was with my college president, also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi. Through our mentor-mentee bond, I was able to gain invaluable insights into leadership, responsibility, and the importance of giving back to the community. His guidance not only shaped my academic and personal growth but also ignited my passion for making a positive impact on society. As I reflect on my journey and the role that these exceptional Brothers have played in it, joining Kappa Alpha Psi felt like a natural progression. The Fraternity embodies the same values and qualities that have been instilled in me by these mentors over the years. It provides a platform to continue their legacy of leadership, mentorship, and community service.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
What truly sets the Cary (NC) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. apart and makes it remarkably unique is the harmonious blend of generations that thrives within our membership. Our chapter stands as a testament to the strength of diversity, where both seasoned Senior Brothers and younger members coexist, collaborate, and flourish together in our pursuit of excellence. What makes this balance so exceptional is the mutual respect and genuine camaraderie that exists between our Senior Brothers and our newer members. Our chapter has cultivated an environment where the wisdom and experience of our Senior Brothers are valued and sought after, while the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas of our younger members are equally embraced. This symbiotic relationship enriches our Fraternity experience and provides a powerful synergy that propels us forward. The inclusive atmosphere that we have fostered allows for the exchange of knowledge, mentorship, and friendship across generations. Our Senior Brothers, with their wealth of experience, serve as mentors and guides, passing down invaluable insights and traditions to the next wave of leaders. Simultaneously, our younger members infuse our chapter with vibrant energy, modern thinking, and a forward-looking perspective that ensures we remain relevant and adaptable in an ever-changing world. In essence, the unity between generations within our chapter defines our distinctiveness. We celebrate the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and contributions of each member, recognizing that it is the collective strength of our entire membership that sets us apart. Our commitment to upholding the legacy of Kappa Alpha Psi while embracing the vitality of change is what makes our chapter a truly remarkable and exceptional community of Brothers.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
While our chapter currently does not serve as advisors to an undergraduate chapter, our focus remains dedicated to another critical aspect of community engagement through our Guide Right Program: our Kappa League program. As a guiding force in the lives of young Black men, we are passionately committed to mentoring and training high school-aged individuals, equipping them with the skills, values, and leadership abilities they need for a future of success. Through Kappa League, we provide a nurturing environment where these young men can grow, learn, and thrive. We understand that the journey towards leadership and personal development begins early, and our goal is to lay a strong foundation for their growth. By offering mentorship, leadership training, and exposure to enriching experiences, we empower them to become well-rounded individuals who are prepared to contribute positively to their communities. Our dedication to Kappa League showcases our chapter’s unwavering commitment to uplifting the broader Black community by investing in its future leaders. While we may not be directly advising an undergraduate chapter at this time, we believe that the impact we make on the lives of these young men will have a lasting ripple effect on our community, contributing to a brighter and more promising tomorrow.
How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?
Fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among our chapter Brothers is not only a goal but a fundamental pillar of our chapter’s ethos. This year, while we will undoubtedly continue our impactful community work, we are also taking a purposeful inward approach to strengthen the bonds among our chapter Brothers. We believe that by nurturing the relationships within our chapter, we can amplify our collective impact and create a more vibrant and supportive brotherhood. To achieve this, we are implementing a range of strategies that have proven effective in promoting unity and camaraderie. We recognize the importance of creating opportunities for Brothers to connect on a personal level outside of our official meetings and events. This includes organizing monthly game nights at Brothers’ homes, planning group outings to local cultural events, hosting breakfast meetups, and offering group health and wellness sessions. These activities are designed not only to facilitate bonding but also to provide a space for open and meaningful conversations. By engaging in shared experiences and fostering genuine connections, we aim to create an environment where every Brother feels valued, heard, and supported. This renewed focus on building stronger relationships among ourselves will undoubtedly enrich our chapter and further elevate our impact in the community we serve.
What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your fraternity/sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?
To aspiring leaders within our Fraternity who are considering taking on roles of leadership within alumni chapters, I offer this advice: Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility that should always be approached with humility, dedication, and a deep understanding of your role in serving the chapter body and the community as a whole. One of the core principles that I strongly believe in is that leaders serve at the pleasure of the chapter body and the community we are here to support. It’s not about personal agendas or individual ambitions; it’s about being a steward of our shared values, mission, and goals. Remember that your actions and decisions have a direct impact on the well-being and growth of our fraternity and the community we serve. To be an effective leader, prioritize active listening and open communication. Engage with your Brothers, seek their perspectives, and consider the broader needs and aspirations of the chapter. Embrace collaboration and build a leadership team that values diverse voices and experiences. Encourage a culture where ideas are welcomed, debated, and refined, ultimately leading to well-informed decisions. Continuously seek personal growth and development, both as a leader and as a member of our fraternity. Invest in learning opportunities, mentorship, and self-reflection to enhance your leadership skills and ensure that you are equipped to make informed decisions that benefit our chapter and community.
How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?
Mentorship has been an integral part of my journey and has played a significant role in shaping who I am today. I’ve been fortunate to have encountered several remarkable mentors throughout my life, and their guidance and wisdom have been invaluable in my personal and professional growth. Specifically within my Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, there have been influential figures whose mentorship has left a lasting impact. From the very beginning, my high school basketball coach instilled in me the importance of discipline, perseverance, and leadership. His mentorship taught me how to navigate challenges, set goals, and work relentlessly to achieve them. Similarly, my college president, a fellow member of Kappa Alpha Psi, took me under his wing and became more than just an educator – he became a role model, guiding me through the complexities of academics, community service, and personal development. Within the Kappa Alpha Psi family, the Brothers of the Cary (NC) Alumni Chapter have been instrumental in my journey. Their collective wealth of experience, knowledge, and commitment to the values of our fraternity have been a beacon of guidance. Their influence has provided me with insights into effective leadership, community engagement, and the true essence of brotherhood. Their willingness to share their experiences and offer advice has not only helped me navigate challenges but has also enriched my understanding of what it means to be a part of this remarkable Fraternity. Through their mentorship, I’ve learned that leadership is not just about holding a position; it’s about uplifting others, fostering unity, and making a positive impact on the lives of those around you. The Brothers of the Cary (NC) Alumni Chapter have exemplified this philosophy, leading by example and encouraging me to contribute meaningfully to our community. In retrospect, mentorship has been a bridge connecting my aspirations with real-world experiences and wisdom. It has provided me with a supportive network of individuals who genuinely care about my growth and success. As I continue to move forward in my leadership journey, I am deeply grateful for the guidance I’ve received from mentors within and beyond my Fraternity. Their influence has been instrumental in shaping my perspective, helping me overcome challenges, and inspiring me to pay it forward by being a mentor to others.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard holds immense importance within Black Greekdom as a platform that amplifies and celebrates the rich narratives of our community. In a society where mainstream media often misrepresents or overlooks our experiences, platforms like Watch The Yard provide us with the power to share our stories authentically and unapologetically. For members of Black Greek-Letter organizations, our journey is deeply rooted in history, legacy, and a commitment to uplift our communities. Watch The Yard enables us to showcase our contributions, achievements, and the profound impact we have on society. By giving us the space to tell our stories in our own voices, it fosters a sense of pride and unity among members of Black Greek-Letter organizations. Furthermore, Watch The Yard serves as a source of inspiration and connection. It allows us to learn about the remarkable work being done by our fellow fraternity and sorority members across the country. It reminds us that we are part of a larger movement dedicated to education, service, and social change. The platform’s coverage of events, initiatives, and achievements underscores our commitment to excellence and community upliftment. In a world where representation matters, Watch The Yard uplifts our narratives and showcases the dynamic individuals within our organizations. By providing a platform that recognizes our achievements, documents our history, and amplifies our voices, it not only honors our legacy but also encourages the next generation of leaders to proudly embrace their heritage and the impact they can make. As we navigate the challenges and triumphs of our journey, Watch The Yard remains a crucial space that enables us to reclaim our narrative, celebrate our successes, and collectively contribute to the ongoing narrative of Black excellence within Greekdom and beyond.
Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?
Reflecting on my 25-year journey as a Brother of Kappa Alpha Psi, the love I have for being a member of my Fraternity has only grown stronger with time. One of the most rewarding aspects of this journey has been the opportunity to forge deep and lasting connections with like-minded Brothers who share a common purpose and commitment to service, leadership, and community upliftment. The bond I have developed with my Fraternity Brothers goes beyond the superficial. It is a connection grounded in shared experiences, values, and aspirations. Through the highs and lows, we have stood together, supporting one another in times of need and celebrating each other’s accomplishments. These relationships have provided a sense of belonging and a network of individuals who genuinely care about each other’s well-being and success. As I look back, it’s not just the events, activities, and accomplishments that stand out; it’s the people who have enriched my life in immeasurable ways. From inspiring mentors who have guided my journey to Brothers who have become lifelong friends, the love and camaraderie within our organization have been the pillars of my experience. Being a member of Kappa Alpha Psi has given me a sense of purpose and a platform to make a positive impact in my community. It has allowed me to grow as a leader, a mentor, and a servant to others. The shared commitment to social change, personal growth, and the elevation of our community has given me a sense of fulfillment that is difficult to put into words. In essence, my love for being a member of my fraternity is a reflection of the transformative power of brotherhood. The relationships I have cultivated, the lessons I have learned, and the impact I have been able to make have all contributed to a profound sense of pride and belonging. Looking back, I am grateful for the incredible journey and the extraordinary individuals who have made this experience not just meaningful, but truly exceptional.
Lastly, what does brotherhood mean to you?
To me, brotherhood is more than just a title; it’s a profound and meaningful connection that transcends individuality. It’s a shared bond that goes beyond the surface, rooted in a mutual understanding, respect, and support that we offer each other as members of this fraternity. Brotherhood reflects our unity, our collective strength, and our commitment to one another’s growth and well-being. Brotherhood underscores our interconnectedness and the idea that our individual well-being is intertwined with the well-being of others. It compels us to uplift one another, to celebrate each other’s achievements, and to provide a helping hand when needed. In the context of brotherhood we are encouraged to look out for each other, to share our wisdom and experiences, and to be genuinely invested in each other’s growth. Brotherhood means celebrating our diversity while recognizing the common thread that unites us as members of this great Fraternity. It’s a commitment to fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered to reach their fullest potential. Within the Cary (NC) Alumni chapter, “Brotherhood” is the guiding principle that shapes our interactions and relationships. It’s the foundation on which we build trust, camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose. It’s a reminder that we are not just individuals striving for personal success; we are a collective force working together to uplift our community and create lasting positive change.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Devin D. Brown for his work as the Polemarch of the Cary (NC) Alumni which has a legacy that spans back to 1988.
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